Michelle’s Home Repair Tutoring Session “Light Up My Light”

Without a front light, a home can be dark and dangerous.

TLC Confidence Scale

Measures the student’s progress throughout their project

Michelle, one of my devoted students, has been complaining about her uncooperative front porch light.   She cannot see the key slot, she may trip on the steps, and over and over and over.  So, I asked her a simple question, did you change the light bulb???  “Well Brian, of course I did, and, I already told you that, don’t you remember??????”

So, I suggested a Home Tutoring session, the objective; to light up Michelle’s light!!!

A beautiful Sunday, not a cloud in the sky, temperature in the 60’s, great day for a Home Tutoring Session.  First things first, I tried  a new lightbulb—this did not solve the problem, the switch felt ok, so it was time to dig a little deeper.

Hey Michelle, you have to get up on the ladder, remove the old fixture, hook the wires leads up to the test light, flip the switch, and let’s see if we have power.

Michelle gazed at me like I told her she won the lottery, but,  misplaced the winning ticket.  “Uh Brian, I am frightened of climbing a ladder and I am scared to death of electricity.

So, Miss Michelle, you are telling me that I have to get up on the ladder, take the old fixture off, and hook up the test light?

ladder graphic

Michelle’s Confidence Scale

Student is unsure of themselves and may be afraid to tackle the project.

I agreed , I will make sure things are safe, then you have to dive in, get your hands dirty, that was the deal.

I don’t remember that part of the deal, don’t you remember I told you that.  No, I don’t.

I removed the existing fixture, attached the test light, flipped the switch, the test light went on. Voila, we found the problem. It is time for a new light fixture.  Hi Ho, Hi Ho, off to the hardware store we go.

We took the old fixture with us, to match things up.  Today, will not be a 2-trip day to the hardware store.

I think I know what I have to do
Student is comparing the old fixture versus the new fixture.

I think I know what I have to do, says Michelle.

Student sees that the wiring is similar and begins to plan their installation.

Michelle says, “I have a plan!”

Michelle’s Confidence Scale

Student confidence grows. They think about the project and plan for the things they will need.

Have to free up the old wires.

Getting a little deeper here. Hey Brian, is the power really turned off ?????


Note: Prior to any electrical work, the power should be turned off at the breaker.

Remember Michelle: first twist the wires together, remembering from our class on electricity, attach the white wire to white wire, black wire to black wire, green wire to ground,  using the wire nuts and electrical tape to complete the connection. (a helping hand from the instructor)

Student is twisting the wires together and I’m just helping her hold the light.

Almost done.

Michelle’s Confidence Scale

The student is making progress by engaging more and performing more hands-on tasks.
Student is now connecting the light fixture to the electrical box.

I am starting to see a smile on her face.

Student is adjusting the electrical box.

Boy, we are getting into it!!!!!

Student is screwing in the bulb before testing the fixture.

She never thought screwing in a light bulb would be so joyous.

Michelle’s Confidence Scale

Student is approaching the end of their project and is putting on the final touches. Their confidence grows faster towards the end of the project.
Student is happy to have completed the project herself.

Michelle’s Confidence Scale

Student successfully completes the project. On a scale of 1 to 6, we give Michelle a 5 for her hard work, effort, engagement, planning and really being hands-on.

What Can I say?

Light is operational.

Project Completed

The objective of Michelle’s Home Tutoring Session wasn’t about replacing an exterior light fixture, it was all about gaining the confidence that she could make certain future repairs herself.  This was the goal; this is what Michelle  achieved.

I’m Proud

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